Article Text

Equine Practice
Radiography of the horse
  1. Jan Butler

    Jan Butler has many years experience in the field of equine radiology. She was based at the Animal Health Trust from 1975 to 1997, and now works in private practice at the Willesley Equine Clinic in Gloucestershire. She is coauthor of Clinical Radiology of the Horse, published by Blackwell Publishing, and has lectured on equine radiography and radiation safety.

1. Practical considerations


WHEN preparing for radiographic examination of a horse, the projections required, positioning of the animal and centring of the primary x-ray beam are routinely considered, whereas other aspects of the procedure, such as choice of screens and films, and processing techniques, can easily be overlooked. The ideal would be to select the best of each of the many factors that affect the quality of a radiograph when establishing a radiographic technique. Ultimately, however, the final choice is a compromise, as selecting the best option for one factor often has a negative effect on another. In deciding how to obtain the best images possible, the whole procedure, from positioning of the horse to darkroom technique, needs to be considered. This article provides guidance on some key aspects and draws attention to the requirements of current radiation safety regulations. Future articles will discuss radiography of specific anatomical regions of the horse, commencing in the next issue with the foot and pastern.

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